Elegant or Everyday
Red Bean and Barley Soup

Hearty brown, white and red bean and barley soups are classically Jewish soups. I experimented with several versions before settling on this deliciously satisfying recipe.

I knew Cooking for The King's Red Bean and Barley soup recipe was a winner when I came into the kitchen that first Friday night I tried it and found one of our guests literally licking the empty pot with his finger!

Soup is powerful food. It has the power to warm both our bodies and our souls. It makes us feel loved, cared for, cherished. No wonder that its only mention in the entire Torah appears intertwined with themes of relationship and eternal values....

Red Bean and Barley Soup from Cooking for The King

1 cup dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight , see note*
or 4 (15 ounce) cans 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 cup barley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dry red wine for optional finish, see note below**
3/4 cup (pareve) sour cream for optional finish, see note below**

1. Heat oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add celery, carrots and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are wilted and tender. Lower heat to medium low and add garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Do not allow garlic to brown.

2. Rinse and drain beans. Add beans, water and bay leaf to vegetables in soup pot. Bring to a boil, stir and lower heat. Simmer soup, uncovered, for one hour. If using canned beans, simmer 20 minutes.

3. Remove bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Alternatively, puree soup in batches in the work bowl of a food processor. (Use caution when processing hot liquids, it is best to wait until the soup cools for this variation of step 3.)

4. Add barley and salt and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.

*To soak beans, rinse well, then place in a bowl with water to cover by about 2”. Cover and let stand at room temperature at least four hours, preferably overnight. (you may need to add water before serving, as the barley will continue to absorb and thicken soup)

**Wine adds depth and character to plain fare and elevates these humble bean and barley soup ingredients to a refined place on the Shabbos Table. To serve, ladle Red Bean and Barley into soup bowls. Top with a dollop of (pareve) sour cream and/or dtizzle with 1-2 teaspoons dry red wine.

Makes: 10-12 servings ~ Can make ahead
Active time: 30 minutes ~ Cooking time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

More delicious recipes like this Red Bean and Barley Soup on thekosherchannel.com and Cooking for The King


Cooking for The King by Renee Chernin
The book of Torah insights, recipes and practical tips
designed to bring majesty to the mundane.

As featured in Mishpacha, the Jewish Press, Hamodia,  Yated & 5Towns Jewish Home

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